‘My kids get so much love from their grandmother’

Having your own mother around when you have a baby is a blessing, says working mom Judy Retelo

By Susanne Saleem, Contributor

Published: Wed 19 Mar 2008, 11:55 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:30 PM

BEING A mother in the inflation driven 21st century cannot be easy.

Add ‘working mom’ to the equation and you get a very demanding life style.

So how do working moms manage to juggle the flu shots, school work, house hold errands, domestic chores and 3am feeding rituals (to name a few) when what they really need is a good nights sleep for a gruelling work day ahead?

I thought what better way to know the answer than to learn from a real working mother. So, I sit down for a few hours with Judy Retelo, a cabin crew operational manager for Emirates, her retired mother Margaret, and her two kids, 4-year old Christian and 2-year old Tasea.

“It wasn’t easy being a mom” Judy remembers, “With my first child, Christian, I had my mother’s help. I was new to motherhood and didn’t really know what to do, and she really took care of him for the first year”.

After a three month maternity leave, Judy was back in the corporate world. She even decided to pursue further education and often was asked how she managed work, study and kids.

With an MBA, distinctions and honours to her name, Judy exclaims she “loved the challenge” and would do it again any day.

Managing work and kids is a balancing act.

“More than anything else I spend as much as time as possible with the kids. My husband even does the supermarket shopping because it eats into my time with my kids. Even on my night outs, I wait till my kids fall asleep to leave the house. I usually prefer having friends over so I don’t leave them alone too often.”

On raising kids, Judy is a free spirit. “I don’t push learning the A B C; I just let them be because there is enough time for that. They need to have the love and freedom of growing up and enjoying their childhood. My brothers got four kids and his kids are super intelligent at everything but I said I don’t want super smart kids; I want kids who love life”.

The environment around the house provides the extra support Judy needs to raise her kids.

“Dubai is a very safe place for children. There are a lot of opportunities and activities for them to enjoy, and we especially love spending time at the park. All kids really need is to be just loved unconditionally, my kids get so much love from their grandmother”.

Thus, mother’s day at Judy’s place comes in two folds with two generations of motherhood to celebrate.

“Christian made me my first mother’s day card, I cherished it and put it up on a board, and I give my mom presents and gifts too”.

Judy’s mom, Margaret, who also worked while raising her kids remembers her parents “I send them cards for mother’s day and father’s day. I miss doing it”

“Here in Dubai even though I’m a working mom I don’t feel it’s hard on me. I’ve got help from my mother,” says Judy.

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